JUNE 19, 2001
MIT to study racing technology
AMERICA's most famous engineering school, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is considering a research program to reinvent the racing car. The MIT Media Laboratory's Car Consortium is currently involved in a project with architect Frank Gehry (who designed the new Guggenheim Museum in Bilboa, Spain) to rethink the concept of the automobile allowing for modern technologies developed at MIT.
The intention is "to design and build a new type of people's car which reinvents the car as a designed object".
The 21-month program will involve a year of research into new technologies and materials with the plan being to build the car in the course of 2002. The finished prototype will be displayed at the Detroit Motor Show in January 2003.
The technologies involved with include the use of "active" materials such as shape memory alloys and hyperlight composites.
The MIT researchers are now considering moving on to look at racing machinery with a view to what is possible rather than what the regulations will allow and is considering asking an F1 designer to lead the project.
The Car Consortium is sponsored by DaimlerChrysler, Ford, GM, Lear and Shell and its research is available for all those involved.
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